The county health department in collaboration with partners rolled out the HPV vaccine to be offered to girls 10 years of age in eleven public health facilities and outreach to schools targeting 35000 girls across the county.
The Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) that cause cervical cancer treatment will be available and free in all public immunizing facilities kicked off in October with the official launch in Homabay County. Nine girls from Kibuye primary school were the first to receive the vaccine during the launch at Kisumu County referral hospital.
The County department of health launched the process of introducing the HPV vaccine into the routine vaccination program to reduce the burden due to cervical cancer in the county.
Speaking during the launch, the chief guest and also the director of health Dr. Dickens Onyango stated that the HPV vaccination to girls before exposure is one of the sure ways to achieve protection against cervical cancer adding that each girl will be vaccinated with 2 doses of HPV vaccine given at an interval of six months apart as an injection on the upper right arm.
“The vaccine will be offered as part of the routine immunization schedule in health facilities and through targeted school outreaches.” Said Dr. Onyango.
The launch follows the successful roll-out of the HPV vaccine training activities that have been cascaded to sub-county stakeholders meeting, training of health providers and micro-planning and sensitization meetings for teachers.
Stakeholders present lauded the introduction of the vaccine stating that it is effective and has been independently evaluated and licensed for routine immunization programs noting that cervical cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths in women in Kenya.
By Matilda Atieno